Fresno's a great city. I've been here now for a little over 15 years and have come to enjoy its diversity, culture, and charm that the city exudes.
The one thing, though, with all of these great qualities is that the cohesiveness of all the people who make up these attributes isn't as great as it could be.
When I first started writing this article, I originally planned to write about the diversity in Fresno and how it affects daily life. As I researched more and more, I found that the diversity here is one of the main obstacles in fighting pollution in the air, in the water, and on the ground.
I also found that diversity in most cities around the United States has the same issues. So Fresno, we're not alone.
When I was in college back east, I was part of Greenpeace when it was first getting off the ground. We weren't involved in saving the whales or anything on the sea. We were working to improve where we lived and went to school, Providence, Rhode Island. We wanted to have a beautiful and pollution-free city. We tried hard, but diversity kind of got in the way. That was the first time I dealt with diversity in a city setting. I learned a great deal from that.
In Fresno, I am seeing the same thing happening. Not as much as it was when I was back east, but it does get in the way of some things happening to better Fresno.
The thing is, all of these things are part of our lives daily, but in some small way, diversity stops us from moving forward on these.
The Mayor's Initiative
The new Mayor, Jerry Dyer, started an initiative to beautify Fresno called Beautify Fresno. That initiative is taking off and doing great. City streets and highways are getting cleaned up on the weekends, and everyone is getting along.
Here's the mission statement from the Beautify Fresno website. "Beautify Fresno is a city-wide effort to clean our neighborhoods, streets, and highways by partnering with local organizations, non-profits, churches and service organizations, and individuals in the community."
What they are accomplishing is amazing. I took a ride one weekend to see their finished work, and it was fantastic.
All of this is positive, but there are other issues at hand, as I stated above, that need consideration, and we can't let diversity play a role in stopping that progress.
I believe it's up to our city leaders to work around any and all diversity issues and rally the people of Fresno to help clean up the environment here so we, our kids, our grandkids, and future generations have Fresno to enjoy for a lifetime.
It's time to stand up, Fresno. It's time to stand together and make things happen for our future. We live in a great city where our diversity should be our strength, not our weakness. We can't expect the Mayor nor city leaders to start all the initiatives needed to fix our problems. We need to let them know we are willing to work on making Fresno better.